Course Syllabus

Welcome to GEOG101: World Regional Geography

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Use a regional approach and spatial perspective to study the Earth's physical features and atmosphere by exploring how humans' cultural, economic, and political activity are related to those features.


Course Introduction

In this course, we explore the physical and human landscapes of the world by dividing them into ten regions. We explore physical characteristics, such as location, climate, terrain, and natural hazards, and human characteristics, such as culture, ethnicity, language, economics, and politics.

Our goal is to begin understanding each region's physical and human attributes from a spatial perspective and place them within a global framework. We will use maps to locate places and features within regions to help us understand global issues, such as international conflict, cooperation, environmental degradation, population growth, and globalization.

We will respond to the following questions, among many others.

  • How does a regional approach to studying the world help us understand it?
  • What tools and methods do geographers use to study the world?
  • Who lives in each region?
  • What languages do they speak there, and why?
  • What explains the locations of their cities?
  • How does geography help explain conflicts in some regions?
  • Why do so many earthquakes occur in some places?
  • Why does the landscape look different from region to region?

Keep in mind that this course is designed to look at the world from a geographical perspective. We only touch on many aspects of local and regional history and political situations that are more appropriate as topics for another type of course.

In addition, the world is constantly changing. Inevitably, the issues we frame as current will become part of history. Of course, it is impossible to thoroughly explore the world in one course. One of our goals is to help you learn how to ask informed questions you can put into a world regional geography framework. We hope to provide a spatial perspective you can use to seek data and information. We challenge you to explore on your own. Now, let's get started on our journey around the world, region by region.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Geography
  • Unit 2: Europe
  • Unit 3: Russia
  • Unit 4: North America
  • Unit 5: Middle and South America
  • Unit 6: Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Unit 7: North Africa and Southwest Asia
  • Unit 8: South Asia
  • Unit 9: East and Southeast Asia
  • Unit 10: Oceania


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • locate the world's regions and identify the geographic features that define them;
  • use world regions to explain how a spatial perspective distinguishes geography from other disciplines;
  • use maps to interpret human and physical phenomena;
  • describe the tools and methods geographers use to visualize, explore and understand the world;
  • name the factors that influence population distribution;
  • explain the impact of colonialism on human geography and territorial borders;
  • outline the role location plays in terms of communication and economic development;
  • describe the interconnectedness of world regions in terms of natural hazards and environmental issues;
  • describe conflict from a human geography perspective;
  • apply geographical concepts such as diffusion, distance decay, centrifugal and centripetal forces, core and periphery, globalization, and rural-to-urban migration to understand places; and
  • explain how internal and external processes affect the physical landscape.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

This course's primary learning materials are articles, lectures, and videos. The primary text is World Regional Geography: People, Places, and Globalization.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. To pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Earning College Credit

This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you want to earn college credit, you must take and pass the Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and requires a proctor. If you pass the Direct Credit exam, you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate and be eligible to earn an official transcript. For more information about applying for college credit, review the guide to college credit opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details like fees and technical requirements.

There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no waiting period between attempts for the not-for-credit exam and the Direct Credit exam. You may only attempt each Direct Credit final exam a maximum of 3 times. Be sure to study in between each attempt!


Tips for Success

GEOG101: World Regional Geography is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 45 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a comfortable pace that allows you to make regular progress. It's also a good idea to schedule your study time in advance and try to stick to that schedule as best as you can.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory and will make you more likely to retain information over time.


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course, including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional Direct Credit final exam, then you will also need access to a webcam. This lets our remote proctoring service verify your identity, which is required to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course also has an optional final exam that can give you an opportunity to earn college credit. This exam requires the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring for this optional exam is $5 per session.

Last modified: Wednesday, May 31, 2023, 12:51 PM